I cannot think of a better name for a community of men following Jesus than “Warriors of Grace.” The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in the final chapter of his letter to the local church in the city of Ephesus some 2,000 years ago, describes those who want to follow Jesus as His warriors needing to be equipped with a strange and wonderful armor, all of which is provided by the grace of God.
How do we know that? A wonderful hint in another of Paul’s letters—this one sent to Pastor Titus and his congregation on the island of Crete—stands ready to be read, studied, memorized, meditated on, and used to gain ground in the spiritual battles of the life intentionally following Jesus.
Titus 2:11 NKJV reveals, “…the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all…” Salvation is the helmet that protects the mind and life and effectiveness of the Ephesians 6 warrior. Titus 2:11 NKJV reveals the origin of the armor—the grace of God. So, anyone who is first recruited and then enlists to follow General Jesus is also supplied the necessary armor to serve well by Him personally. Jesus IS the grace of God that brings the helmet of salvation to each of His warriors as a gift to be treasured and deployed rather than put on a shelf and admired.
The other 45 verses of Paul’s letter to Titus are as equally revealing and valuable to the warrior of grace. Why? Paul was discipling Titus in this letter, summarizing and polishing Titus’ already impressive training under Christ’s Apostle to the Gentiles. Such a letter holds eternal value not just to Titus and the newborn church on Crete then, but for every local church in every time until Jesus returns.
A good place to begin as a warrior of grace is to settle in both heart and mind what it means to be a warrior, as Titus was, and what it means to work every day under grace. In Luke 14, Luke records Jesus referring to this spiritual discipline as counting the cost of following Him.
Titus himself is described in more depth than a casual reader of the New Testament might initially remember. Titus served as a close companion and comfort to Paul, as well as one of his closest confidants and most trusted allies and brothers in the service of Jesus Christ.
The opening of the letter to Titus leaves no room to speculate that Titus was a true and totally committed disciple of Christ who was personally led to the Lord and discipled by Paul (Titus 1:4). Galatians 2:3 reveals he was a Greek. But most of what we know comes from Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth.
Titus was the kind of brother and friend whose presence invited and produced spiritual rest (2 Corinthians 2:13).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend who comforted others, especially when they were troubled (2 Corinthians 7:6).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend that was approachable, relational, and other Christians were able to encourage. He knew how to encourage others by giving them opportunities to help and bless him, and then was joyful and thankful when they did (2 Corinthians 7:13).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend that listened to others well, was able to discern truth from lies and error, having had received the kind of love of the truth that Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 as being characteristic of those who are truly saved (2 Corinthians 7:14).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend who actively and gracefully and effectively discipled others, even when it was difficult (2 Corinthians 8:6).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend who genuinely and actively cared for other people (2 Corinthians 8:16).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend Paul considered a partner in ministry and a co-worker who shared his primary goal in life, which was to please and glorify Christ (2 Corinthians 8:23).
Titus was the kind of brother and friend who did not take advantage of others and led a transparent, holy life (2 Corinthians 12:18).
Paul wrote to another one of his deployed disciples, Timothy, that every verse of God’s Word—including his descriptions of Titus in 2 Corinthians—was and remains profitable for knowing what is right (doctrine), what is wrong (reproof), how to get right with God (correction), and how to stay right with God (instruction). That can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16.
For our purposes here, the next verse is vital. Why are those verses describing Titus important to our knowing God and staying in His good graces? So that the man of God, or warrior of grace, “may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).
That brings us full circle until next time, when we will take a close look at the environment Titus lived in on Crete, as a man of God and warrior of grace. It might be more like your environment than you imagine.
Until then, I encourage you to examine yourself to see if you are living out the faith Titus did, Paul admired, and the Holy Spirit has perfectly preserved as an example for us to follow as we live. Paul believed that was a way to be assured of God’s saving power in us, as he wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5.
“Test yourselves,” he wrote. One way to do that is to let the verses describing Titus in this article be the questions you ask about your own life. Would your wife say the verses describing Titus also describe you? Would your children say so? Would your neighbors, co-workers, and friends say so? Do you live like Titus did, who followed Paul’s example, who followed Christ’s example?
Dave Scott holds earned graduate degrees in organizational development from the University of Oklahoma and in Christian ministry from Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. Dave is a supported missionary pastor serving with Village Missions.